Four putt dents, but doesn't dismantle, Tiger's chase for No. 83
January 24, 2020
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
Tiger Woods' Round 2 highlights from Farmers
SAN DIEGO – Even the greatest can four-putt.
Tiger Woods has owned most of Torrey Pines for the majority of his career, winning eight times at the iconic coastal course. But the opening hole of the South Course has had his number of late.
Woods appeared to have his demons under control on the 456-yard par-4 opener when he split the fairway and hit a nice approach to inside 25-feet to open round two of the Farmers Insurance Open.
In his last 22 rounds on the course prior, Woods had notched up four double bogeys and a stroke average of 4.36 on the hole. But as he lined up a birdie effort it appeared he would help out that average.
Four putts later he had made his fifth double there since 2008 and actually pushed the average out to 4.43 in his last 23 rounds. It was a huge blow for the 82-time PGA TOUR winner but Woods would ultimately claw his way to a 1-under 71 to move to 4 under for the tournament.
It leaves him six shots off the pace set by Ryan Palmer in a tie for 17th place with two rounds on the South Course still to play as he vies to become the leader in all-time PGA TOUR wins on his own. He currently shares top place with Sam Snead.
Woods opening putt from 24-feet, nine inches was pulled to the left and would ultimately settle two feet, six inches from the hole. He walked up and without marking went to knock in his par putt with force to take out any break. It caught the left edge and jetted past some five feet, six inches.
After taking his time with his bogey effort Woods once again pulled the ball offline and was left to tap in for his six. It was a shock to the system after his round of 69 on Thursday at the North Course had put him in good shape. Woods explained post round that poa annua greens can often trip people up if you’re not careful. They tend to get a little uneven with foot traffic.
“It’s just poa. I tried to ram it in the hole and it bounced, and hit obviously a terrible third putt, pulled it,” Woods would explain post round.
“The second putt, it's just what happens on poa. I tried to take the break out and it just bounced. When you get on poa, it's just a matter of the ball's bouncing in or bouncing out. I felt like I did a really good job of leaving the ball below the hole for the middle part of my round and I made those putts.”
It was the 13th time Woods has four-putted in his career but first time at Torrey Pines. His last four-putt came at the 2019 World Golf Championships – Mexico Championship. Woods has one just once in a tournament where he four-putted – the 2005 Masters.
Three of his previous doubles on the opening hole at Torrey Pines South came in the 2008 U.S. Open. Woods won that event.
“It's just the way it goes, just one of those things. In '08 I got off to a bad start but ended up winning the tournament,” Woods said. “Hopefully that's the case this year.”
Woods has eight wins in 72-hole events when trailing by six or more shots after 36 holes, with three of those coming at the Farmers Insurance Open. He still fancies his chances after fighting back, at one point making four birdies in a five-hole stretch.
“That's what happened in '99. I shot 62‑65 on the weekend. If you make the cut on the number here, anything can happen on the South Course, especially the way it's playing now. It's so much more difficult and I think so much more volatile because of the fact that if you shoot a good round out here on the South, you'll move up the board.”